7 Things NOT To Do During Labor

newborn laying on a hospital swaddle blanket

7 Things NOT To Do During Labor

There are so many different articles and classes out there that teach you what you SHOULD be doing during early labor, active labor, transition, and pushing (including our own), but sometimes it’s nice to know the things that you should NOT be doing during labor so you can really avoid some unnecessary interventions and outcomes.

Here are my 7 tips on what expecting mamas should NOT do during labor:

1. Do NOT Over Exert Yourself

So many women get super excited as soon as they start feeling those first contractions. They want to jump up and get things going! I don’t blame them. However, what they don’t know is that resting is just as important as movement when things really get started. Yes, being upright and frequently changing positions helps with your comfort and promotes better positioning of the baby (which can in turn help speed things up). However, periods of rest are equally as important. Since labor can take many hours and sometimes days, you don’t want to burn out before you can reach the end. This is why resting in between periods of activity is the best thing to do for your mind and body.

2. Do NOT Get to the Hospital Too Soon

That is, if you are having your baby at the hospital… If you’re having your baby at home, no worries! If you are having your baby at a birth center, you don’t want to get there too early either since you can get sent home. But if you are having your baby at a hospital, you definitely don’t want to get there too soon.

You want to wait as long as you can while in active labor before you start driving to the hospital. Why? If you get there too soon, the hospital staff may send you back home, which is pretty frustrating to go back and forth. (I’ve heard of families being sent back home three times before they finally got admitted!) But even worse, the hospital could keep you there even when it’s too early for you to stay and they could decide to give you pitocin or break your water to help speed up the labor process.

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If you have been reading my posts, you all know that doing these things too early in labor tremendously increase your chances of having a c-section. (Unfortunately, I have had a few clients that have had this happen to them so I can speak from experience. Read why you don’t want to be induced.) So make sure that you don’t get to the hospital too soon so you can avoid being sent home as well as avoid some unnecessary interventions.

3. Do NOT Feel Stuck

When you’re in labor, don’t feel like you have to stay in one position (unless you want to). Sometimes the hospital staff will want you to stay in the bed in a certain position because they want a good, continuous reading of your baby’s heart-rate all throughout labor.

That can be incredibly uncomfortable for you and can cause your labor to become more painful and can even cause your labor to stall out. If you want to move into another position because you’re uncomfortable, go for it! It’s your body and your labor so listen to your instincts and do what feels best. The nurses will be able to work around you and keep moving the monitor until they have your baby back on the monitor.

4. Do NOT Hyperventilate or Hold Your Breath

You might think that breathing should come naturally during labor and shouldn’t be something that you have to think about. I mean you breathe in and out all day every day so what’s to think about, right? Unfortunately, that is (most of the time) untrue when it comes to labor.

During labor, some mothers can get really worked up and freaked out which cause them to over-breathe or breathe too rapidly. Which then can cause dizziness, numbness and tingling of the hands, feet, and/or face, and even fainting.

The type of breathing that you want to do is abdominal or diaphragmatic breathing. This type of breathing is beneficial because it helps with relaxation and stress relief, it oxygenates deep tissues, and it strengthens the diaphragm.

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You also want to make sure that you aren’t holding your breath during labor. The oxygen that you are breathing in is also giving oxygen to your baby. If you hold your breath, your baby’s heart-rate can start plummeting which will then cause your medical team to panic and want to get baby out immediately.

We all just need to calm down and breathe. Those big deep breaths are the best thing for you and your baby. Proper breathing helps you manage the stress. Provides the best oxygenation for both you and your baby. It prepares your diaphragm to get ready for pushing a baby out.

5. Do NOT Look at the Clock

If a laboring mama has decided to have a natural birth, she can be so focused on her breathing, relaxing her muscles and everything that she’s doing to progress that she might not even pay attention to the clock. (Which is good!). If a laboring mom has decided to have an epidural. She can be taking a nap or be talking to her friends and family or watching a movie that she doesn’t even think to look at the clock. (Which is also good!).

However, if you’re wondering why things are taking so long (whether you have an epidural or not), it never helps to look at a clock. Looking at the clock will only discourage you. If it’s only been a few minutes and you thought it was an hour or more you could get pretty upset that baby isn’t here yet. So don’t look at the clock. Baby will be here soon.

6. Do NOT Be Bullied

You should NEVER feel like you are being bullied during your labor and baby’s birth. If anyone is trying to push you to do something that you don’t want to do or is making you feel rushed or uncomfortable. If they are being unsupportive of your wants and needs, stand up for yourself!

READ MORE
When to Go to the Hospital in Labor

As I always say, this is your body, this is your baby, and this is your experience. YOU are paying the facility fees and the people around you so you should only be treated with kindness and respect. You’re the boss! The customer is always right, right?! And you should feel happy about your experience because these moments will live with you forever. So don’t settle for anything less.

Note: If you do not like your nurse or the doctor on-call taking care of you, you can always have your partner go talk to the nurse’s station. Speak to the charge nurse and get a new nurse and/or a new doctor. Don’t feel bad about it! They should feel bad that they aren’t giving you the supportive experience that you deserve! And if you do not feel like you will have the strength to advocate for yourself, look into hiring a doula.

7. Do NOT Fight the Process

I’ve had clients that have completely rocked their labor and baby’s birth. Watching them go through their birth experience so seamlessly made me question. What they were doing different compared to other women that I have worked with that have struggled.

When I asked what they were telling themselves during their labors, they said, “I kept telling myself to surrender my body to the experience and allow the labor to open my body and not fight the process. I wanted my labor to be quick so I let my body do what it needed to do.” Powerful.

In labor you will get cues from you body; pay attention to them. If a new position doesn’t feel right to you still after a few contractions, change positions. Or you feel like you need to rest, rest. Even if you feel like touch, massage, or a bath will help you get through things, ask for it. If you feel an overwhelming urge to do something, go do it. Just remember to remain confident in your ability to do this because you can do it. Don’t fight it! You got this, mama!

About the Author /

Nina is The Baby Chick® & CEO of Baby Chick®. She is a baby planner, birth doula, postpartum doula, childbirth educator, newborn care specialist, and a mother. With over eight years of experience, she has supported hundreds of families during their pregnancies, births, and postpartum journeys.

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How would you finish this sentence? . . .⁠ You k How would you finish this sentence? . . .⁠
You know you have a newborn when _______.⁠
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YES 👏 IT 👏 DOES👏⁠ Go and find your troo YES 👏 IT 👏 DOES👏⁠
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📷: @hallmarkbaby⁠
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An amazing story from a determined mom to breastfe An amazing story from a determined mom to breastfeed her #triplets. 💗 With hard work, determination, help and support, anything is possible.
Words & 📷: @triplets_and_toddler
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“I breastfed my first child so I knew I wanted to #breastfeed again. People were skeptical about me #breastfeeding triplets, and this drove my determination! 💪 My boys were born at 29+3 and therefore it was so important for them to have #breastmilk! 🤱
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After having an emergency C-section, I knew there was no time to rest, so I started hand expressing within the first hour. I set an alarm to ensure that I expressed every 2 hours during the day and every 3 hours overnight. ⏰
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Being separated from my boys was hard so having pictures/video links helped whilst I expressed. Seeing my teeny, vulnerable babies in their little incubators drove my determination to provide them with my milk! I also rotated muslin squares between us so that I could smell them and vice versa. This also helped me whilst I expressed during the night away from my boys. Their smell on the swaddles kept me focused! 💙
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Twice during our #NICU journey my boys were split between hospitals over an hour apart! This was the hardest time and meant I was separated from 2 of my boys for a couple of days. During this time I kept up with expressing and ensured that all three of them had enough milk to take with them until we were all reunited.
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Looking back I feel it is my sheer determination that has really enabled me to successfully breastfeed my triplet boys! Not once have they needed donor or formula milk. It required a massive commitment both physically and emotionally but I am so proud of my achievement! My boys are now 11 months and are still breastfeeding." ❤️
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*This story is not to bring any mothers down that choose to formula feed. (I, personally, had to give my son formula at 7 months old!) We share this mother's story to inspire mothers and celebrate our victories! ✨
If you are having breastfeeding struggles and want to succeed, contact a good local IBCLC and receive support. Find new mom friends who are also breastfeeding who can encourage you. And if you choose to formula feed, we honor you too. 💕 #mommychick
WTF 😑⁠ (via @thenatewolf via Twitter)⁠ .⁠ WTF 😑⁠
(via @thenatewolf via Twitter)⁠
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Repeat after me . . . 💗⁠ (quote via @friscoar Repeat after me . . . 💗⁠
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🧠 4 Ways to Promote Your Child's Mental Health 🧠 4 Ways to Promote Your Child's Mental Health 🧠⁠
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Your child’s mental health is fairly complicated. It's also critical to their overall health and wellness. We often think of mental health as it pertains to adults, but just like growth and physical development, research shows that mental health is something that should be considered starting at birth. ❤️⁠
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When children are very young, their brains are extremely sensitive to environmental stress. Toxic stress, defined as high levels of prolonged stress, can have life-long effects on children. Limiting stress for young children is critical for their early mental health. One of the most fundamental ways we can help eliminate toxic stress is by building a strong relationship foundation from the very beginning of their lives. Your relationship with your baby is an integral part of their sense of self-esteem, independence, and confidence; three key factors in mental health.⁠
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Building that relationship with your child can be broken down into four key concepts . . . {Click 🔗 in bio to find out what they are!}⁠
📷: @vlentine⁠
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Just in case you call her a boy, here's a MASSIVE Just in case you call her a boy, here's a MASSIVE bow that shows she's a girl . . . yet still somehow get's called a boy. 🤷⁠
📷: unknown⁠
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💤 Good Bedtime Routines for Babies of Every Age 💤 Good Bedtime Routines for Babies of Every Age 💤⁠
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If you’ve ever typed into Google, “Why won’t my baby sleep?” you’re not alone. In fact, you’re among thousands of other parents/caregivers who are likely as tired as you are. Chances are, if you have gone down the Google rabbit hole at 2:00 a.m. (or just asked your pediatrician for sleep advice), then you’ve most likely been introduced to the concept of a bedtime routine.⁠
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A bedtime routine can be an incredibly helpful tool in establishing healthy sleep habits and good sleep hygiene. Infants and young children thrive on routine; in fact, they are comforted by predictability (spoiler alert: most adults are this way, too!). Plus, a young mind is exposed to so much new information every day that it’s reassuring for a child to know that they can depend on certain events to have a predictable structure.⁠
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Bedtime routines are also a cue to their brains and bodies that sleep is coming. With a predictable bedtime routine, your little one will start to recognize the order of the routine and begin to anticipate what comes next. With enough repetition, this process happens automatically in a very Pavlovian way. A calm and successive routine will also make the onset of sleep come more easily. Can you imagine if you walked out of your workout and immediately someone told you that you had to lay down and fall asleep? This would be nearly impossible, and the same is true for our little ones. By allowing them some time to unwind, you are making the falling asleep process that much easier. Here are some tips on what to do for your little one's bedtime. ❤️⁠ {Click 🔗 in bio to read more!}⁠
📷: @hannahxruth⁠
Article by: @ohbabyconsulting⁠
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#babysleep #goodnight #bedtime #bedtimeroutine #nightnight #sweetdreams #sleepconsultant #babysleeptips #sleepcoach #parenting #sleeptips #motherhood #babylove #sleeptraining #parentingtips #sleeping #toddlersleep #sleephelp #parentinghelp #sleepcoaching #parenthood #sleepdeprived #sleeptraininghelp #babysleepconsultant #babychick #mommychick #momlife
THIS. The struggle is real.⁠ ⁠🥴 📷: @brit THIS. The struggle is real.⁠ ⁠🥴
📷: @britt.kav⁠
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#parenting #parenthood #parentlife #motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #mommychick #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #momhumor
It's the beeeeeessssttttt . . . 😬😑 (quote vi It's the beeeeeessssttttt . . . 😬😑
(quote via @smalltowntallgirl)⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
🤗 7 Tips for Raising Secure and Happy Kids 🤗 🤗 7 Tips for Raising Secure and Happy Kids 🤗⁠
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Parenting is hard. And ever so important. But sometimes it feels like we need to have a special degree in “Managing Toddler Mood Swings” to navigate some of the unexpected scenarios that come with raising secure and happy children.⁠
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Like how do we handle a child that likes to scream instead of talk?⁠
“Please, child, just lower your voice while we’re in Target.”⁠
Or what are we supposed to do when a child prefers to strip down every time we get them dressed or only eat foods that are the color blue?! (In case you’re wondering, there aren’t many blue foods.)⁠
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It can feel tricky and tiring to try and do it all right and then sometimes still feel like you’re at a loss. But the truth is, there’s never any way to make everything perfect. But there are things we can do that set our children up to feel secure and happy. And here are seven of my favorite tips. {Click 🔗 in bio to read more!}⁠
📷: @lauren.stewart_dc⁠
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#parenting #parenthood #parentlife #motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #mommychick #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
Any oldie but goodie by @spiritysol⁠. ❤️⁠ Any oldie but goodie by @spiritysol⁠. ❤️⁠
Cesarean mamas--this one's for you. I hope you know that you are worthy. That you are such a warrior. That you are brave and powerful and strong as f✨ck. I hope you know that birthing your baby on an operating table makes you no less of a mother. No less of a goddess. Your birth story is holy and that beautiful scar on your belly is sacred as sh✨t. You are worthy of praise and celebration, honor and  admiration.⁠
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I hope that you know it was worth it. Knowing this does NOT mean you can't mourn your dream. It does NOT mean "you and your baby are safe--that's all that matters!" It does NOT mean you can't wish things had gone differently. But I hope that underneath it all, you can find beauty in what was. What is. Your baby. Your birth. Your strength. Your healing. Your story.⁠
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Your journey wasn't easy. Perhaps it unfolded much differently than you had hoped--perhaps it shook you to your core and left you feeling the immense weight of a "what if" and why".⁠
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Perhaps you're still wading through the heavy emotions of disappointment, anger, and grief. Perhaps you always will. But whatever feelings you hold in your heart and in your womb, I hope that you can look at your scar and say "Hell yes, it was worth it. And hell ya, I am worthy."⁠
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*This post was written for mamas who might be struggling with an unexpected or undesired cesarean birth. I recognize that there are mamas that choose to have planned/elective cesarean births who might not resonate with the message in this post. I honor them as well--as I honor all mothers, all women, and all beings.⁠
Words & 📷: @spiritysol⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #birth #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #cesareanbirth #bellybirth #postpartum #newmom #childbirth #momsofinstagram #mommychick #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
Because I gave him the wrong colored cup . . . whi Because I gave him the wrong colored cup . . . which is the color he originally asked for.⁠
🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️⁠
(quote via @HenpeckedHal via Twitter)⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
Hope they're ready for us!⁠ 👯‍♀️⁠
📷: @myquestionablelife⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
" . . . Tears contain stress hormones. Why would w " . . . Tears contain stress hormones. Why would we have tears if they didn't serve a purpose? Little hurts can feel big when you are little. There is no such things as no reason to cry. Comforting a crying child is not the same as shutting them down, no matter how sweetly we shut them down . . . up actually." - Pam Leo⁠
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#gentleparenting #motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #parenting #parentlife #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #mommychick #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #healing #mentalhealth
"Every diaper change is a struggle⁠ Goldfish cru "Every diaper change is a struggle⁠
Goldfish crumbs are literally everywhere.⁠
Nothing stays in the correct place.⁠
Dramatic meltdowns are a part of our daily routine.⁠
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Being a mother to a new toddler is so challenging, and every day I'm not sure what to expect! But, even on the days where I think I'm going nuts, it's so worth getting to watch my daughter grow into her own person. I love seeing her personality expand with each day.⁠
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I won't lie though, I do get a tad bit freaked out sometimes! I mean I've never heard anyone nail the sound of a pterodactyl better than my daughter, when she's having a meltdown. 😂😳"⁠
Repost: @postpartum⁠
Words & 📷: @tori.mccain⁠
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Share your worst/funniest toddler meltdown stories below! I'm sure almost all of us mamas who have a toddler can relate. 🙋⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
That's my kind of mom friend. 😂 Tag that mama w That's my kind of mom friend. 😂 Tag that mama who is your happy safe person. ❤️⁠
📷: @lifeandtimesofmom⁠
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#motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #momhumor #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣ #mommychick
8 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues When You're Stuck 8 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues When You're Stuck Inside⁠
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⁠When the snow first starts falling, it’s a great feeling. Your house is cozy inside, school is cancelled—three cheers for a snow day! The kids are excited and you can’t help but feel some excitement, too. However, after a few days of being snowed in, we can all start to get a bit stir crazy, especially with our littles cooped up at home with us. We're sharing eight creative ways to beat those winter blues when you feel like you’re stuck indoors! {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!}⁠
📷: @cecileadams⁠
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#winterblues #snowday #snowedin #winter #winterwonderland #winterfun #wintertime #home #indoorideas #motherhoodthroughinstagram #momlife #motherhood #momstruggles #momprobs #mumlife #mommylife #parenthood #motherhoodunplugged #realmoms #momstatus #thatmomlife #realmomlife #momsofinstagram #mommychick #motherhoodrising #ig_motherhood #uniteinmotherhood⁣ #babychick⁣
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